National Cemetery Administration
Alexandria National Cemetery, LA
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Visitation Hours: Open Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.
Alexandria National Cemetery is closed to new interments. The only interments that are being accepted are subsequent interments for veterans or eligible family members in an existing gravesite. Periodically however, burial space may become available due to a canceled reservation or when a disinterment has been completed. When either of these two scenarios occurs, the gravesite is made available to another eligible veteran on a first-come, first-served basis. Since there is no way to know in advance when a gravesite may become available, please contact the cemetery at the time of need to inquire whether space is available.
From Esler Regional Airport sign, take Highway 28 west approximately 10 miles. Go under the Alexandria Expressway and get in the left turn lane. Take the ramp onto the Alexandria Expressway and from the expressway take the first exit on the right staying in the right lane. Turn right at the stop sign onto Melrose Street. Follow Melrose over the railroad tracks and turn right at red light onto Shamrock Street. Take Shamrock approximately three blocks to the cemetery. The cemetery is on the right.
Fax all discharge documentation to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
The cemetery, rectangular in shape, is located in Rapides Parish near Alexandria, Louisiana.
Military Funeral Honors
The Alexandria/Pineville Veterans Honor Guard provides Military Funeral Honors. Contact the funeral commander, John Smith at 318-627-2498 or 318-715-0703.
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations.
Artificial flowers and potted plants will be permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. The cemetery director, in coordination with the network office, determines these periods for each cemetery depending on climate and other factors. As a general rule, artificial flowers and potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from December 1 through January 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on the graves. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not permit adornments that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery, or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel. For example, items incorporating beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Permanent items removed from graves will be placed in an inconspicuous holding area for one month prior to disposal. Decorative items removed from graves remain the property of the donor but are under the custodianship of the cemetery. If not retrieved by donor, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of Federal property.
VA regulations 38 CFR 1.218 prohibit the carrying of firearms (either openly or concealed), explosives or other dangerous or deadly weapons while on VA property, except for official purposes, such as military funeral honors. Possession of firearms on any property under the charge and control of VA is prohibited. Offenders may be subject to a fine, removal from the premises, or arrest.
Alexandria National Cemetery is located in the community of Pineville, Rapides Parish, La. In 1804, under the new U.S. Territorial government, Rapides became one of the 12 parishes into which the Territory of New Orleans (later the State of Louisiana) was divided and, by 1805, a crude settlement had developed at the site below the rapids named Alexandria. When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in fall 1860, the people of Alexandria and Pineville saw the handwriting on the wall. On Jan. 26, 1861, the citizens of Louisiana voted for secession and swiftly committed to joining the Confederacy.
Ships appeared at the mouth of the Mississippi River determined to go upriver and capture New Orleans in May 1862. Within a year, Rapides Parish citizens were shocked when they realized their homes, the roads leading through Alexandria parish and other crossroads villages of the parish might become part of the battlefield.
Between 1863 and early 1864, the area was invaded twice. Plantations were laid waste, houses burned, fences torn down, trees cut for firewood and sugarhouses and barns burned. Both armies lived off the land, taking away food, livestock and poultry. The final destruction of Alexandria occurred on May 13, 1864, when Alexandria was burned to the ground by Union troops.
After the war, federal troops moved into the region to begin the process of reconstruction. In 1867, an eight-acre plot was appropriated from local resident François Poussin for the establishment of a national cemetery for deceased Union soldiers who died in the region. Approximately a decade later, a suit was filed by Poussin’s heirs and the United States was ordered to pay his descendents $1,200 for title to the property. Bodies were removed from the surrounding towns such as Mount Pleasant, Cheneyville and Yellow Bayou and reinterred in Alexandria. Later, remains from Fort Brown, Texas, were reinterred at the national cemetery when the fort was no longer deemed necessary. Alexandria (LA) National Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
Monuments and Memorials
The 1911 granite Memorial to Unknowns marks the burial of 1,537 unknown Federal soldiers who were removed from the Brownsville National Cemetery and re-interred at Alexandria National Cemetery.
Another 1911 granite Memorial to Unknowns marks the burial of 16 unknown federal soldiers who were removed from the Fort Ringgold Post Cemetery (Texas) and re-interred at Alexandria National Cemetery.
The remains of 25 unknown soldiers from post and private cemeteries near Fort Jessup, La., are also interred in one grave and it's marked with a white government marker.
There are 57 Buffalo Soldiers interred at the Alexandria National Cemetery. They represent the following units: 24th Infantry, 10th Calvary, and the 9th Calvary and are interred in Sections A, B, C, and R.
Former congressman Gillis W. Long, who died on January 19, 1985, is buried in Section B, Grave 1610-B.
Major Jacob Brown, for whom Fort Brown, Texas, was named, is buried in Section B, Grave 1. He died from wounds received during a skirmish with Mexican soldiers in 1846.